Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Interior Design (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Beth McGee


This study investigated how biophilic design (nature-based design) optimizes one's well-being within a classroom learning environment. It is necessary to understand how a student’s performance in higher education depends on the environment. Research supports that when students have access to daylight, feel a sense of belonging and well-being in their classrooms they are able to perform at higher levels. Using a semi-experimental method, a classroom was assessed. Classes using this classroom were surveyed at the beginning of class and at the end of the same class time. The concurrent mixed method sequential design included both quantitative and qualitative data and looked at several key design features and the emotive responses of students. A key finding was that students wished they had access to windows in the classroom. There is limited literature understanding the intersection between biophilic design and students’ performance in higher education. This research offers a new perspective in why incorporating biophilic design into higher education classrooms allows students to perform at a higher level.